The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card Review
The Scotiabank Gold American Express card offers Canada’s richest rewards rate of 4% and ushers in a new era of flexible travel redemption programs into the Canadian marketplace.
With a limited time $99 first year annual fee waiver and a 25,000 point sign-up bonus worth $250 (offer expires February 28th, 2018) this is a great time to try the card out risk free.
The Scotiabank Gold Amex card offers one of Canada’s highest earn rates of 4% on gas, grocery, dining and entertainment spend and 1% everywhere else. No other credit card in Canada offers 4% in that many categories. It’s also one of Canada’s most flexible travel cards, offering the flexibility to redeem your cash equivalent points for ANY travel expense! It also has one of the country’s best travel insurance programs.
Get the card to get your limited time $250 welcome bonus offer and first year annual fee waiver. With no annual fee Scotia is paying you $250 to give the card a try – with such good value, we say it’s worth a shot.
Earning Points on Scotiabank Gold
The sign-up bonus of 25,000 points, with no annual fee in the first year is extremely competitive. 25,000 points is worth $250. The only thing you’ll have to do is spend $1000 in the first 3 months. If you’re spending between $300-$400 a month anyways (think gas & groceries alone), it’s a great deal.
The value proposition on the card is simple and extremely generous, you earn 4% on all gas, grocery, dining and entertainment purchases, up to $50,000 per year, after which you’ll earn 1%. You’ll also earn 1% on purchases in all other categories. The 4% value is extremely rich.
While some cash back cards offer 4% cash back, they only do it for gas and grocery purchases. The Scotiabank Gold card does it for gas, grocery, dining and entertainment purchases making it standout from the pack.
Consider the average Canadian spends $5,588 a year on groceries, $2,207 on restaurants, $3,600 a year on gas, and let’s throw in an additional $8,000 on other credit card spend. Based on that spend profile you’ll earn the equivalent of $535 per year in rewards – robust.
Redeeming Points with Scotiabank Gold
One of the most innovative features of the Scotiabank Gold American Express card is that it allows you to book your travel first, then redeem your points to cover your travel costs after, as follows:
- Book any flight, hotel, car, cruise, train or package, on your credit card
- Wait for your travel purchases to appear on your credit card statement
- Then apply your points to your travel expenses on your credit card (100 points = $1)
This allows you to book on any airline, hotel, cruise or vacation package without any restrictions. No blackout dates, seat restrictions, or extra points for high season. You can also pay for all taxes and fees with your points!
Comparing Value Per $1 Spent On Your Credit Card
As we’ve said before, the earn rate on the Scotiabank Gold American Express card is the highest of any card in Canada.
We’ve done some math to verify our assessment. Each point is worth 1 cent. As a result, you’re getting 4% back on gas, grocery, restaurant and entertainment spend and 1% everywhere else. That compares very favorably to the RBC Avion, CIBC Aventura, BMO World Elite or CapOne Aspire. By comparison, the BMO World Elite and CapOne Aspire offer 2% on all spend. You can see just how rich a 4% earn rate is when compared to other cards.
If you have a lot of spend outside of gas, grocery, restaurants and entertainment, you might want to consider something that gives more bang for your buck than the Scotia Amex Gold card does, which still gives a respectable 1% on all other purchases.
To see other alternatives, you can use our credit card comparison tool to find the best credit card for you, which has already converted points to their dollar value and allows you to enter your spend by category to see how much each card will earn you.
Not to be outdone, Scotia has embedded a host of travel related benefits that we believe ranks it as one of the top 5 cards in Canada for insurance coverage. In fact the total package of embedded benefits can easily be worth over $1,000 per year if your travel:
- Travel Emergency Medical Insurance – As the primary cardmember, you, your spouse and accompanying dependent children are each automatically covered for up to $1 million in emergency medical coverage for up to 25 consecutive days out of province.
- Trip Interruption & Cancellation Insurance
- Flight Delay
- Delayed & Lost Luggage Insurance
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
- Rental Car Collision / Loss Damage Insurance
- Hotel / Motel Burglary Insurance
- Purchase Security & Extended Warranty Insurance – personal items purchased on your credit card are insured against theft, loss or damage for their first 90 days after purchase!
- Price Protection Service – Use your card to buy a new item that is offered for sale at a lower price within 60 days of purchase, the Price Protection Service, will pay you the difference up to $100.
In our view, Scotia’s current limited time first year annual fee waiver with a $250 sign-up bonus offer makes it one of the top offers in the current Canadian marketplace. It’s also the best offer Scotia makes available for the card all year.
Usually the Scotia Amex Gold has a $150 sign-up bonus with a $99 annual fee to start – so this promotion is $100 richer than its standard welcome bonus offer. Also, the 4% earn rate on gas, grocery, restaurant and entertainment is unmatched in Canada. Because you can apply your earnings to ANY travel expense on your credit card statement, you can start redeeming your welcome bonus right away!